Chargers Look to Avoid Trend of Slow Starts
By Nick Matt
. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
All Chargers fans have always had high hopes starting the season and are so used to climbing out of early season holes. This season looks very similar to years past after the first three games. Although the Chargers are 2-2 it is way too early to panic. They have all the pieces to put together a great season and after looking at Peyton Manning’s lack of arm strength and Alex Smith’s deficiencies it is clear that the AFC West is wide open for the taking. Who wants it?
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It seems like every season the Chargers dig themselves in an early season hole. They can’t continue to sink early and expect to have miracle wins late in the season. They need to start strong and end strong and they have a revamped roster that is poised to do so. The key is health. Clearly this is a wide open race with the declining Manning and Jamal Charles and the one dimensional Kansas City Chiefs with their strong running game in . The Chargers already have a plethora of injuries in the secondary with Brandon Flowers and Jason Verrett and the offensive line is banged up as well. The backup line played very well outside of the first quarter in the much needed victory against the Browns.
Every year we have the same high hopes but the personnel we brought in only makes us better and we are looking to start games off aggressive, get a lead, then pound the ball with Danny Woodhead, rookie Melvin Gordon and Branden Oliver as insurance who has seen plenty of first team reps in the past two years. They have what every winning team has: a veteran quarterback that has been in every situation and is still on top of his game, an upgraded line, an improved and younger defense, and a leader in the clubhouse on both sides of the ball with Philip Rivers and Pro Bowl Safety Eric Weddle. Also acquiring former pro bowler Stevie Johnson looks to have a resurgence. Johnson looks to form a bond with Rivers and to have a major comeback season and he has no better player to throw him the ball than Rivers. Getting a refreshed Antonio Gates back on Monday Night Football and Keenan Allen having a breakout season early on will make this team very scary to face for opposing defenses.
The window for Rivers, Weddle, and Antonio Gates is getting smaller by the day to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. They are all future Hall of Famers but nothing would be more perfect than for them to win a Super Bowl with the Chargers. Its extremely difficult to climb out of an early season hole year in and year out for the Chargers. Although Rivers seems to thrive with our backs against the wall they can’t keep putting themselves in those situations. With a a big Monday night game against the always tough Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football they need to win this game with a Steelers team playing without their leader and match up nightmare Ben Roethlisberger. Chargers can exploit mismatches all over the field and once they start to click and get healthy Rivers will get this team in great position to be a very dangerous team late in the season.